Support during this unusual year

Mark Porteous

Having returned to my desk after the AGM at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, I have been thinking about how much I enjoyed this year’s AGM and Banquet. It was a pleasure to meet so many friends and colleagues old and new and I think everyone who attended had a fantastic and enjoyable weekend.

I am enormously proud to be elected President of National SAIF – I have been a member of SAIF since 1996 and I look forward to being an ambassador representing our organisation during the coming year.

We all know by now this is not going to be an ordinary year – already many of my engagements and meetings have been cancelled which, although disappointing, is necessary. We must all follow the Government guidelines on social distancing – the safety of all SAIF members, your families and the wider public is paramount.

The funeral profession was already undergoing many changes that most of us will never have seen in our working lives, and we now must deal with the worst health emergency the world has seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918.

As Independents we believe our purpose in life is to help and care for people, we take a great pride in everything we do; we are proud of what we achieve within our communities and we are proud of the services we provide, this is where our passion comes from.

As funeral directors we are key workers, we are on the frontline and we must be responsive to this pandemic and the challenges it will bring. We will have to accept our normal working practices in the short term will be different, but I am confident that we have the expertise, the people skills and the innovators to make sure SAIF members continue to be the industry leaders throughout this ongoing health emergency.

Remember we are in this together so please do not hesitate to call upon your President, any member of the SAIF Executive or contact the SAIF business centre if you require any advice or you need help.

Can I also take the opportunity to remind you of SAIF Support, a completely free service to all SAIF members. It provides advice and guidance for you and your staff during the most difficult time in our lives. We all sometimes forget to look after our own mental wellbeing and this free support service run by Professional Help, a member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, is in complete confidence.

Please do not be so proud not to use this benefit, if you need it, use it.

My best wishes to you all, and keep safe.

Mark Porteous
SAIF National President

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